Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

[The Hobbits arrive at the gates of Bree, soaking wet due to the pouring rain. They pause, uncertain how to declare themselves.]

Frodo: "Come on."

[He knocks on the gates. A small peep hole opens high above them, then slams shut. Another opens, nearer their eye level. An old face peers out against the downpour.]

Gatekeeper: "What do you want?"

Frodo: "We're heading for the Prancing Pony."

Gatekeeper: [opening the gate] "Hobbits! Four hobbits! What business brings you to Bree?"

Frodo: "We wish to stay at the inn. Our business is our own."

Gatekeeper: "All right young sir, I meant no offence. 'Tis my job to ask question after nightfall. There's talk of strange folk abroad. Can't be too careful."

[He ushers them inside.]

[The Hobbits make their way up the cobbled path, through the motley crowd which jostles and bumps them.]

[One man, a particularly ugly oaf holding a carrot, belches contemptuously over them.]

Men of Bree: "Out of the way! Watch where you're walking, young masters!"

[Frodo looks up and spots the sign of the Prancing Pony. The four Hobbits enter the Inn. Inside, it is crowded, noisy and poorly-lit. They pull back their hoods. Merry and Pippin breathe sighs of relief.]

[Frodo steps up to the bar, which rises far above his head.]

Frodo: "Excuse me?"

Butterbur (leaning down over the bar): "Good evening, little masters! If you're looking for accommodation we've got some nice, cozy, hobbit-sized rooms available. Mister uh —"

Frodo: "— Underhill, my name's Underhill."

Butterbur: "Underhill. Yes…"

Frodo: "We're friends of Gandalf the Grey. Can you tell him we've arrived?"

Butterbur: "Gandalf? Gandalf? Oh yes! I remember: elderly chap, big gray beard, pointy hat… Not seen him for six months."

[The hobbits are shocked. They huddle together.]

Sam: "What do we do now?"

[The hobbits are seated at a table in the tap room of the Prancing Pony. The air is dark and smoke-filled. Drunken men laugh raucously. Several glance suspiciously at the hobbits.]

Frodo: "Sam. He'll be here. He'll come."

Man: [to Merry coming from the bar] "Get, get out of my way."

[Merry sits down at the table. He is holding a huge stein of beer.]

Pippin: "What's that?"

Merry: "This my friend, is a pint."

Pippin: "It comes in pints? I'm getting one."

[Pippin rushes to the bar.]

Sam: "You had a whole half already!"

[Sam turns back to his mug. After a moment, he nudges Frodo and gestures to the corner of the room. A dark cloaked figure sits alone. His face is invisible inside his hood.]

Sam: "That fellow's done nothin' but stare at you since we arrived."

Frodo: [takes Butterbur aside] "Excuse me, that man in the corner, who is he?"

Butterbur: "He's one of them rangers. Dangerous folk they are — wandering the wilds. What his right name is I've never heard, but around here, he's known as Strider."

Frodo: "Strider."

[Strider lights his pipe. Only the gleam of his eyes can be discerned above the glow of the burning leaf.]

[Frodo starts to play with the Ring. It starts to whisper.]

The Ring: "Baggins. Baggins. Baggins. Baggins! Baggins!…"

Pippin: "Baggins!"

[Frodo snaps out of his reverie.]

Pippin: [at the bar] "Sure I know a Baggins. He's over there, Frodo Baggins."

Pippin: "He's my second cousin, once removed on his mother's side" [listeners laugh, "It works for him!" yells one] "and my third cousin twice removed on his father's side, if you follow me."

[Strider sits up, his attention fairly caught. Frodo rushes towards the bar to stop Pippin from babbling further.]

Frodo: "Pippin!" [grabs him]

Pippin: "Steady on, Frodo!"

[Frodo slips on someone's boot and falls back, tossing the Ring into the air.]

[As he catches it, the Ring slips onto Frodo's finger.]

[Frodo disappears. Folks gasp in surprise. Strider is alarmed.]

[Outside the village, the Black Riders turn around.]

[Frodo, now in a shadow world, looks around bewildered.]

[He then sees an immense singular orb, a lidless eye, wreathed in flame. The Eye of Sauron stares down at him.]

Sauron: "You cannot hide! I see you! There is no life in the void, only death!"

[Frodo backs away, terrified. He gropes for the Ring, unable to tear his gaze from the hideous Eye. Finally he wrenches the Ring off, reappearing with a relieved sigh.]

[Strider grabs him from behind.]

Frodo: "Ah!"

Strider: "You draw far too much attention to yourself Mister 'Underhill'!"

[Strider tosses him up the stairs, flings open the door of his room, throws Frodo in and shuts the door behind them. Frodo stumbles, falls to his knees, and stands up.]

Frodo: "What do you want?"

Strider: "A little more caution from you. That is no trinket you carry."

Frodo: "I carry nothing!"

Strider: "Indeed."

[He walks over to the window, and puts out the candles with his fingers.]

Strider: "I can avoid being seen if I wish. But to disappear entirely, that is a rare gift."

Frodo: "Who are you?"

Strider: "Are you frightened?"

Frodo: "Yes."

Strider: "Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you."

[The door bursts open. Strider draws his sword.]

[Sam, Merry and Pippin rush in, Sam with fists clenched and ready to fight.]

Sam: "Let him go! Or I'll have you Longshanks!"

Strider: (sheaths his sword) "You have a stout heart little hobbit, but that will not save you. You can no longer wait for the wizard Frodo. They're coming."

[Inside the gatehouse of Bree, the wizened gatekeeper hears a horse snorting.]

[He gets up to investigate and opens the window in the gate. Suddenly the Black Riders crash through the gate, crushing the gatekeeper underneath it.]

[The riders gallop to the Prancing Pony. Screeches are heard.]

[The Riders enter the Inn, swords drawn. Butterbur hides behind the door, terrified.]

[Inside, the Hobbits are soundly asleep.]

[The Riders make for the hobbit-sized room. Silently, they raise their swords high above them to plunge into the beds.]

[The swords descend, stabbing at the still forms as the Hobbits awake. The Riders pull back the covers and realise they have been attacking stuffed bedclothes and pillows. They scream. Strider watches from the window in his room as the Riders remount their horses.]

[Frodo sits at the foot of the bed. The rest of the sleeping hobbits, awakened by the Riders' cries, lean wide-eyed against the headboard.]

Frodo: "What are they?"

Strider: "They were once Men. Great kings of Men."

Strider: "Then Sauron the Deceiver gave to them nine Rings of Power. Blinded by their greed, they took them without question. One by one falling into darkness."

Strider: "Now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgûl, Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead. At all times they feel the presence of the Ring. Drawn to the power of the One. They will never stop hunting you."